Crisis. As a marketer, the moment you think you’ve planned for but in reality it catches you on your heels every time. It wouldn’t be a true crisis if it didn’t, right? So how does a brand best handle a crisis, especially in an ever-changing situation? Our nation is being hit with a string of crises in 2020 and every day and every week seem to bring new challenges. In this moment, brands are leading, brands are following, and brands are staying still. While each situation is unique, here’s our playbook for navigating a crisis. Stop. And Listen.  Stop what you’re currently doing. It’s very unlikely that what you’re currently doing is still the right thing to be doing. Brands who react too quickly look opportunistic. Brands who sit in silence receive judgement for being unsupportive. Don’t’ respond how you wish you were as a brand, admit your current brand identity and position and respond. Arm Your Brand Safety. Reevaluate your brand safety standards with a fine-toothed comb. New topics and new challenges are in front of you and brand safety has to be reevaluated. Some things to look for:
  • Block inappropriate content if it relates to your brand.
  • Make placements intentional. Handpick where you want to be either to support crisis news or to avoid it.
  • Ensuring messaging is custom, relevant, and adjusted as things change is key.
Keep Demand Based Programs Running. It’s appropriate to keep demand-based programs running. If people are searching for you, being there for them. Use a non- promotional, familiar voice. Connect with your customer on their terms. Evaluate. Reevaluate. And reevaluate again. And again. Agility is required across the business will eventually roll into marketing. Being agile is different than being reactive. Create systems that keep your company agile as the crisis evolves. Agility will pay dividends later, even after the crisis has ended. Move Forward. Move forward but move slowly. Consumer sentiment should drive your next step forward. Take ownership if you misstep and celebrate a collective way forward out of crisis.

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